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County unemployment continues downward slide


LaGrange County’s unemployment rate continues to go down, finally dropping below 7 percent for October 2012.

According to statistics from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, LaGrange County had a 6.8 percent unemployment rate in October. A year ago, October 2011, the rate stood at 9.4 percent. The new rate is also 0.3 percent down from the September 2012 revised rate of 7.1.

 In the last year, LaGrange County has seen its labor force increase by over 400 workers, up to 15,786 counted in October 2012.

The number counted as employed has also increased significantly since October 2011, up a total of 796 to 14,719 for October 2012.

Meanwhile, the number of unemployed has dropped by 378 over the past year, down to 1,067 from 1,445 in 2011.

The state ranks LaGrange County in 61st spot overall for unemployment, tied with a number of counties at 6.8 percent.

Regionally, LaGrange County continues to have the lowest overall rate. Elkhart continues to lead the region with 8.3 percent. Noble County has 8.1 percent for October, while Steuben County has 7.7 percent.

Statewide, the unemployment rate dropped by two-tenths of a percent to 8 percent for October. In October 2011, the state average was at 9.1 percent.

Other data released by the state shows that the state has experiences the 3rd largest period of job growth in over a decade and, since the low point of unemployment in 2009, Indiana’s private sector job growth has nearly doubled compared to the nation – 6.6 percent compared to 3.8 percent nationwide.

According to the state, private sector employment in Indiana is at 96.6 percent of the pre-recession levels and has added over 153,400 jobs since 2009.

Top sector growth over the past year in the state has been in manufacturing, leisure and hospitality and construction.